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INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1965
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 1964
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 8:30 a.m., in room S-128, U.S. Capitol Building, Hon. John O. Pastore presiding.
Present: Senators Pastore, Young, and Allott.
HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY
STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. WEAVER, ADMINISTRATOR; ACCOM
PANIED BY MILTON P. SEMER, AGENCY GENERAL COUNSEL; JOHN M. FRANTZ, AGENCY BUDGET OFFICER; SIDNEY H. WOOLNER, COMMISSIONER, COMMUNITY FACILITIES ADMINISTRATION; WILLIAM L. SLAYTON, COMMISSIONER, URBAN RENEWAL ADMINISTRATION; PHILIP N. BROWNSTEIN, COMMISSIONER, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION; MARIE MCGUIRE, COMMISSIONER, PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION; JOSEPH BURSTEIN, GENERAL COUNSEL, PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION; AND J. STANLEY BAUGHMAN, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
STATEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATOR Senator PASTORE. All right, Mr. Weaver, we are very happy to have you here this morning. For the record we will place in the hearings at this point the summary of the appropriation request and limitations proposed for the fiscal 1965 appropriation for the Office of the Administrator. You may begin.
Summary of appropriations and limitations proposed for the independent
offices appropriation biīi, 1965
200.000 30, 000.000
17, 306, 000
400, 000 12, 294, 000
Contracts and studies.
Liquidation of contract authorization...
Appropriation under proposed legislation.-
Under existing authorization -
Under proposed legislation -----
Under existing legislation.
43, 000 4, 957, 000
12, 000.000 265,000,000 75,000,000
25,000,000 50, 000, 000
TITLE I Limitation on administrative expenses, Office of the Administrator, college housing loans---
1, 900, 000 Limitation on administrative expenses, Office of the Administrator, public facility loans...
1, 300,000 Limitation on administrative expenses, Office of the Administrator, revolving fund (liquidating programs).
110,000 Limitation on administrative and nonadministrative expenses, Office of the Administrator, housing for the elderly-
1, 150,000 Community disposition activities.
375, 000 STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATOR Mr. WEAVER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the budget we present to you today would provide for a busy agency, with heavy workloads in the coming year in practically all its programs. Nationwide, I think that the problems of housing and community development are receiving constantly increasing attention—in local communities and from local levels of government, as well as from the States and the Federal Government. More and more cities are be
coming actively concerned about the problems of preserving and rebuilding their central areas. These problems, as you know, involve among other things clearance, renewal, new housing, rehabilitation, upgrading of community facilities, better planning, and new efforts at solution of the difficulties of mass transportation. More and more urban communities—whether or not they have specific governmental machinery for the purpose are becoming concerned about bringing order into the growth in the suburbs; providing housing which will not degenerate into the next generation of slums; developing water and sewer capacity and other facilities with some eye to the future; relating industrial, commercial and residential growth to each other and to such influences as highway development and other transportation facilities; and making some provision for preserving open land and for the enjoyment of future families and neighborhoods.
RELOCATION OF DISPLACED FAMILIES The problems of relocation of displaced families are also receiving more recognition and attention. I am glad to say that there seems to be growing recognition that displacement and relocation are not something peculiar to urban renewal, but rather are a vitally important aspect of every form of public action affecting land uses in urban areas.
UPGRADING LIVING STANDARDS IN HOUSING Among individual families there is a strong desire to upgrade their living standards in the matter of housing. Indeed, I suspect that a higher percentage of our families have achieved what they would regard as an acceptable standard in such matters as automobiles, television sets, household appliances, and even clothing and diet than in meeting their own concept of "a decent home and a suitable living environment,” to use the words of the 1949 declaration of national housing policy. I think that we can look to the force of this demand to progressively shape the housing market in the next few years, with a concomitant major effect on the general economy-barring, of course, some unforeseen economic or international disaster. A concerted attack on the causes of poverty will clearly accentuate and accelerate this demand.
Senator ALLOTT. May I interrupt there, Mr. Chairman?
SHORTAGE OF HOUSING REFLECTED IN SPENDING HABITS
You say, “I suspect that a higher percentage of our families”-et cetera. Now, you really cannot keep a man from going out and buying a $4,000 automobile, when he is living in a house that is modern only by 1920 standards, can you?
Nr. WEAVER. No, sir. I think the situation there reflects the fact that we have made, I think, more progress in greater choices, and more progress in raising the vision of the consumer probably in the automobile than we have in the home.
Of course we have had a very difficult situation with the shortage that we are just getting out of. And in the period, you see, when incomes rose very rapidly, the housing supply was not rising concurrently. The result was that spending habits got away from shelter, from necessity. And I think this is a hangover of that situation.
Senator PASTORE. A good automobile is now accessible to anyone who has the money. Television sets are on the floor of a department store, and a person buys according to his means. There have been many instances where even if you had the money you could not buy a home of your choice. That is part of the problem as well.
Some of these people who rise and sometimes get themselves a better status in life would like to move to another locality. And in some instances they just cannot do it, for reasons that are inherent in our society and that have to be eradicated. That is what you are up against.
I don't think it ought to be left on the record that our American people are caring more for automobiles and television sets than they are caring for homes.
The idea is this: A man wants to explode a little bit when he has that dollar in his pocket. How does he spend it? What good is money if you don't spend it? He can't bring his family a decent home, so he brings them a good television set, sometimes even better than he should have. Because that is his one claim to affluence.
He would like to express it in a home. We have many, many instances where he cannot do it.
You agree with that, do you not?
Senator ALLOTT. Just a minute, Mr. Chairman. I asked to be yielded to. And we are good friends. I have great respect for you.
But I don't think that this precludes the expression of my own views. Senator PASTORE. Oh, I didn't say that. .
POVERTY NOT SOLE CAUSE IN HOUSING SITUATIONS Senator ALLOTT. May I say respectfully that neither Mr. Weaver nor you have had any more concern with the particular problems of minorities—and that is what this question that I asked has been twisted around to—than the senior Senator from Colorado has had. My record
Senator PASTORE. I was born on the fifth floor in the rear of a tenement house. I know what I am talking about.
Senator ALLOTT. I was born on the 26th block of G in Pueblo. You take a look at that.
Senator PASTORE. I have taken a look at it.
And my only point is this: I think the gist of this paragraph is that the whole trouble is that people do not have better housing because of poverty alone. And this is not true. I can travel this country over and show you people living in substandard houses who have 1964 automobiles out in front that cost $3,400, $3,500, and who have television aerials on top of their houses. And the money could well have been spent toward the improvement of their own family conditions. And this is in a great many instances, where it is not due to a minority problem. And I don't think that everything in this country turns on a minority problem.